A Goblinish Gallery

Federico García Lorca once gave a speech in Havana—my dad’s hometown—about duende. He used that word to describe a dangerous and impish sense of art.

It also means “goblin.”

The Spanish translation of my first book is now out in the world, and I love the new title.


In his speech Lorca made a point of praising translators, interpreters, conductors, performers—those who make something new out of something that was already there.

Thanks to my translators. It’s a rare thrill to see my book change into something new.

The Chinese title of Goblin Secrets is twice as long as the Japanese. I don’t know what shades of meaning are implied by either. I’d love to know. I also love the masks on both covers:



Where is the duende? Through the empty archway a wind of the spirit enters, blowing insistently over the heads of the dead, in search of new landscapes and unknown accents: a wind with the odour of a child’s saliva, crushed grass, and medusa’s veil, announcing the endless baptism of freshly created things.   – Federico García Lorca, translated by A. S. Kline

(The whole speech is like that. It reads more like poetry than prose.)